On 21st February 2013 Cadets from 2425 squadron went to RAF Wittering to visit 5131 BD Squadron. 5131 squadron are bomb disposal experts who can dispatch rapidly to any bomb threat.
Upon arriving we were split into two groups. My group first of all was given a talk on conventional munitions (for example grenades, mines and mortars) as well as IED’s or Improvised Explosive Devices. The talk was extremely informative with the servicemen very keen to answer our questions. I learnt a huge amount. Also we were shown the many ways these people are able to safely disarm munitions if required. Also the Squadron showed us a great deal about their participation in various conflicts including the Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Afghanistan. After that we were soon shown the Bomb Disposal suit which weighed a whopping 30kg!
Also the Squadron staff showed us their robots used to disarm IED’s. These robots were extremely high-tech and were fitted with cameras which allow the operator to get the best situational awareness possible.
We were allowed to operate the robots, which was great fun and slightly nerve racking as we told they cost £750,000 Driving and controlling the robots was great fun and surprisingly for the small robot wasn’t as hard as imagined to do the basic tasks such as driving and picking up various items. To conclude this visit we were given a peek inside the squadron’s rapid response vehicle which is sent to any emergency and was very high-tech inside. Overall I think the visit was a fantastic day out and I’m very thankful to the servicemen for allowing us to visit the unit.
By Cdt Charles Denney